Five underperforming players that still have a future at Arsenal

With new signings and players coming back from injuries it is obvious that some players will soon find themselves on the fringes but that does not necessarily mean that they are surplus to requirements.

For any top-six team to be successful in the pursuit for a top-four place and potentially win a cup they will need strength-in-depth and that is why you do not always off-load players no longer regarded as first-team material.

These are the players I think can be great for backups….

Sead Kolasinac

The Bosnian is almost certain to lose his place to Kieran Tierney but with European and domestic cups there is every reason to believe he will still get significant game time this season. It is imperative that Tierney has a back up in the event of any injuries or suspensions.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles

His position is in serious danger even with Hector Bellerin yet to return to full match fitnes,s but in all fairness he was never a right-back anyway. Maitland-Niles may yet force his way into the reckoning for a midfield spot and he will have the opportunity to make a case for himself in the cup competitions.

Mesut Ozil

He does seem to be nothing more than a bit-part player these days but a transfer is unlikely, and he does retain the ability to change a game at will. He may not be the force he once was, but bringing him on at crucial times in important games could be just what the doctor has ordered. Ozil can still have a role to play if he accepts his new status in the squad.

Shkodran Mustafi

There was a time when the German defender was almost certain to be offloaded and he was definitely not a fan favourite, but he has got his head down and got on with it and the result has been some decent performances this season when called upon. His career is not necessarily over with at Arsenal if he keeps on doing what he has been and accepts that he is a squad player but not necessarily a first-teamer.

Granit Xhaka

The Swiss international is holding on to his place by the skin of his teeth and it can only be a matter of time before Unai Emery realises that he cannot keep relying on his captain. That said, Emery does have a soft spot for Xhaka and as soon as he can turn his game around and get his confidence back then he will have a first-team spot waiting for him. Emery will ensure that.

Are there any other players you think should be classified as squad players but are unlikely to take a first XI spot?

34 Comments

  1. gotanidea says:

    I thin Sokratis would lose his place when Holding is fully fit

    1. Declan says:

      I’m hoping Sokratis has already lost his place after the debacle against Villa and that Holding and Mustafi play against United.

    2. elias dadi says:

      No he is wanted player

  2. Innit says:

    We need to try hard to sell Mustafi, Ozil, Xhaka
    They are just using up precious salary funds with not enough quality

    Niles has been playing in a position that doesn’t suit him
    He is a central midfielder or right midfielder
    Put him on loan and see how he copes

    Kolsanic is fine as a backup Left back or LWB

  3. Truth says:

    Not sure Xhaka is holding on to his place by the skin of his teeth. I think Emery sees him as an automatic starter no matter how he plays.

  4. Denis Elvis says:

    yes

  5. Nitsram says:

    Who was it that told me Mustafi would never be able to recapture his form? A lesson in our fans being to fickle and always having to scapegoat somebody

    1. RSH says:

      i wouldn’t consider two games a recapture of form. Especially when one of those games the defense had next to nothing to do the entire match.

    2. RSH says:

      Also, this has always been what Mustafi does. He’s fine for a few games, and then he becomes downright horrible. We’ve had so many players like him, and if we keep on relying on players that cannot have any type of consistent form, we will keep struggling.

      1. BOROH VICTOR says:

        Mustafi and Holdings combination is not bad you know considerating their last performance

        1. BOROH VICTOR says:

          Mustafi and Holdings combination is not bad you know considering their last performance

        2. RSH says:

          If holding is in the team, Sokratis or Luiz should be next to him. Mustafi is still the worst of the three. A lot of us fans just have short term memory and forget how disastrous Mustafi is. He’s played the two easiest games of the season and now back in the good books until he messes up again.

  6. Dominic Slater says:

    Nelson seems to have been surpassed by Saka, Smith-Rowe had some bad luck with injuries and others are passing him by, Luiz should just give Chambers a chance, Ceballos started well, but lately struggleso, but is probably Emery’so fault, using him incorrectly.

    1. Wesonga charles says:

      Actually Emery should starting thinking of signing another central midfielder other than relying on xhaka whose performance this season is doubtful

  7. Viju Jacob says:

    Let’s talk about underperforming and Ozil this season, with facts, and not some preconceived narrative.
    Even the other lads, for that matter, who don’t deserve such harsh reviews.

    1. ken1945 says:

      Viju Jacob, come off it – let’s look at the FACTS you are demanding:

      FACT: Ozil has played 120 minutes of football this season, being substituted in the 70th minute both times, once whe he was captain of the team.

      FACT: During both games he played in, the team won and the general view was that he played well, some say average others better than that.

      FACT:He has been rested by the coach for whatever reason meantime, but one of the explanations for that was UE wanted him ready for the Villa game…then left him on the bench.

      OPINION ONLY:If that’s not enough to know that he’s only a “bit time player” and he has to accept his “new role”, what is?

      FACT: Funnily I haven’t seen anything from the club that supports this claim…as usual they are the views of someone who wishes this was the case in admin martin…his dislike of the player is well known of course.

      Are the above FACTS the ones you are alluding too?

      1. ThirdManJW says:

        Watford and Forest, and almost every kid outperformed Ozil in the Forest game. Really clutching at straws ken1945.

        1. ken1945 says:

          Not straws TMJW just PURE FACTS…unless of course you want to contest them, see if you can?

          Your view on Ozil being outplayed by almost every kid is…PURE OPINION: Spot the difference?

          By the way, it now seems those “kids” voted for Ozil to be their captain for the game, they must have been clutching at straw as well then?
          That was according to one of the kids who you have been praying for to come back, a certain Mr. Holding.

        2. Dan kit says:

          This is coming from someone who admitted he didn’t watch the game ,and now you know that all the kids outperformed him.
          I watched every minute of that game and I’m pretty sure he had more touches than any other player and did more miles also .
          Admart doesnt rate him so gave him low score ,Inturn fans like you then jump On the bandwagon .
          (I’ll be waiting for the I’m a Troll reply back ,that’s all you ever write.)

        3. Mbliujs says:

          Ozil z done we should accept I still like him tho as a person

      2. ThirdManJW says:

        ken1945 the FACTS are that Ozil has been rubbish for years, and now even kids and reserve players out perform him!

        FACT, even Chambers can get a hat trick of assists against Forest, yet Ozil can’t get even one!

        Yes it’s true what you said about his performances against awful teams, but what was your point? Because even with your facts, you’re not making a case for Ozil at all.

        Not just my opinion as it seems to be the opinion of every single person that I have seen giving ratings for the game. So are you saying that the majority are wrong?

        1. ken1945 says:

          Well, first of all, I didn;t realise you hadn’t watched the game, your assessment of Ozil being so authorative, but as I know you don’t go to games, I should have realised.

          Anyway, on to your reply:

          First of all, as you haven’t challenged any of my “facts” I presume you agree with them, thank you for that.

          Secondly, you state as “fact”, that Ozil has been playing rubbish for years and that youngsters and kids outplay him – I assume you mean by “years” after he won a world cup winners medal, in 2014, that makes sense I hope you will agree, so let’s look at the rubbish he has been churning out since then shall we and then you name any youngster who comes near to his achievements, let alone outplays him:

          Right, after he joined Arsenal in 2013 and won his w/cup medal in 2014 (five years to cover your “playing rubbish for years), here are FACTS for you to read and digest:

          FACT: In his first five seasons at the club (2013-2018) he created 476 goalscoring chances in the premier league, more than any other player over the same period.

          FACT:Last season he broke the premier league record for the fastest player to 50 assists, reaching the landmark in 141 appearances.

          FACT:Named Arsenal player of the year for 2015-16

          FACT:Arsenal Honours -FA cup 2014-15-17.

          FACT: Five times German player of the year including 2013 – 2015 -2016

          FACT:PFA Fans Player of the month april, november amd december 2015

          FACT: Best German Player Abroad 2016

          There are so many more since 2014, but I hope this covers your “years of rubbish” claim.

          Second “fact” you quote “even Chambers can get a hat trick of assists against Forest, yet Ozil can’t even get one”….well, first of all this statement regarding Ozil proves byond a doubt that you didn’t watch or listen to the game, so let me replay ( as near verbatim as I remember) a part of the commentary that admin martin gave a thread to on here:

          “That’s the first pass that Ozil has made that didn’t find a colleague”…guess when that was said TMJW?
          Five minutes into the second half and his total of misplaced passes before being sustituted? A total of TWO.
          As it seems, the rest of the team selected him as captain (even if not true UE did) it is obvious that his overall play ( you know 100% effort-running up and down the field ) doesn’t need to be measured by assists alone does it? at least that was what you was complaining about before, when he was creating the number of assists (that you seem to be so mesmerised by when Chambers does it) against the top teams, not “just” Forest.

          As for your last comment about the marks awarded, that is a complete falsehood isn’t it TMJW – yet again, when someone has no PROOF or FACTS, they suddenly bring up the “majority card”, usually the “vast majority” I should add.
          As you didn’t watch the game, you missed the STANDING ovation Ozil received when he left the field, the cameras panned to the crowd and there it was for all to see.
          “Every single person”? – you are really something else when it comes to producing facts – or making them up to suit your views. I will leave that last sentence of yours to the “justarsenal” people to digest and decide on.

          Anyway, I’ll let you digest those FACTS about the rubbish years and if you want to check them out, they appear mostly in the Official handbook 2018/19 which is available from the Emirates, if you ever get the time to visit the place, watch a game and join in Ozil’s song along with quite a few Arsenal fans.

          1. ThirdManJW says:

            Ken I am not saying your facts are wrong, but I seriously dont understand why you’re bringing them up?

            It seems to me that you’re trying to make a case for Ozil’s inclusion in the first team, but your eyes must really be deceiving you, because he has done nothing for about 2 years, and has always been poor in big games. I’ve seen all of his assists, and the majority of them come against rubbish teams. It’s a FACT that he rarely creates, assists or scores in big games, thus he cannot be deemed a WC player.

            Another fact that was going around in the summer. I can’t remember it exactly, but it was either Muatafi having the same, or better stats than VVD! So according to your why of perceiving things (what’s on paper, instead of using your eyes) Mustafi is clearly better than VVD! Hahaha!

          2. ken1945 says:

            TMJW, the reason I am supplying you with pure, simple, facts is because you come out with such misleading quotes, without bothering to check the reality of your statements.

            At the start of this current conversation, you said that Ozil had been playing rubbish for “years”, but after I showed you FACTS that he hadn’t, you have reduced this down to two years…now on that statement I can start to see light at the end of the tunnel.
            Previously, you have always said that it went back to him relying on his world cup winning legacy, so we have progressed somewhat I suggest.

            Let’s look at the last two years then:
            In AW’s last season, every players form dipped as did the team’s performance…in my opinion that was because he (AW) had lost the dressing ro0m, it was time for him to go and he should have the year before as well.
            Not one player came out of that season able to hold his head up high and I would refer you to Per’s statement that admitted the players let him and themselves down…so Ozil (along with every other player and AW it seems(, let us, the fans down.

            Then along came UE, who decided that Ozil was not performing to the level he should be.
            He stated this quite clearly and Ozil went away, worked on his game and UE then stated that, not only had Ozil proved his worth, he was going to be one of his captains.
            During this time, Ozil never once complained, kept his head down and worked hard to get UE to admit this.

            So, this season, UE has selected a fit player, one of his “five captains”, a grand total of 120 minutes playing time from approx. 840 minutes available and you are judging him rubbish on that?

            I would suggest to you that the only time we have seen our club play with the intensity that could see us challenging for the title were burnley (90 mins) villa (2nd half) spuds (2nd half).

            Now that is why I believe UE has to give him the opportunity to improve that appalling scenario, but you seem content with the way we are playing at the moment and see no reason to give Ozil a decent amount of playing time to try and improve that?

            Yet again, you introduce something into the discussion that hasn’t been said by anyone…that being he is not a world class player.
            As you rightly say, anyone using their eyes can see that those days are gone, so what is the point you are making there then? a little like your “majority” innuendo – no relevance or substance and here’s why:
            As we, currently, don’t have any “world class” players in our squad, I fail to see how that excludes Ozil from the picture, do you?

            You then make this incredible claim that you have seen EVERY one of his assists and they have ALL been against rubbish teams…just read again what you have said TMJW and tell me that you really want to be taken seriously when debating Ozil?

            This, after I summarised his record for you and which, I assume, you agree with as they are produced by The Arsenal and wikipedia amongst others. Look at his assist record and stop making such incorrect statements…476 assists all against rubbish premier league sides – seriously TMJW, seriously???

            I do use my eyes and also my ears when I attend matches at The Emirates…I hear and see the crowd singing his name and applauding his play…it happened as recently as three days ago in a game you didn’t watch, but then go on to claim that you have seen EVERY one of Ozil’s assists, how on earth can you be taken seriously with BS like that?

            You end up with a weak haha comment tnat has nothing to do with Ozil, I guess desperate times called for desperate actions!!!
            You have been given the FACTS, had your claims blown out of the window and yet still refuse to acknowledge the situation…my oh my!!!

  8. Abi says:

    Chambers—Holding–Luiz—-Tierney will eventually be the working partnership at least until Bellerin is fully ready.

  9. ThirdManJW says:

    Ozil still has the ability to change the game at will? Why does he NEVER do it then?

    1. arsenal314 says:

      How does he change games when he’s not used?

    2. ken1945 says:

      Because he has only played 120 minutes this season and, on both occasions, WE WON!!!

      1. ThirdManJW says:

        Milan Baros won the CL with Liverpool, thus he must be a top player! Mustafi won the WC, thus he must be a top player! Yet another ridiculous comment from ken1945! Do you not realize that you can win whilst part of a team, whilst being rubbish or barely/never playing?

        @arsenal314 but Ozil has been used plenty of times, unless you gave him a clean slate in the summer (if so, then why), and are only judging him on 2 performances against really poor opposition this season? In those 2 games, although Ozil wasn’t terrible, what did he really do? Did he prove his critics wrong? Did he show Emery why he needs to play in the big games?

        1. ken1945 says:

          So here we have TMJW’s scenario of what a world cup final squad could consist of:

          Having battled through the league stages and the knockout stages, the final is upon us:

          The two best teams in the world are currently about to play each other, with their two managers leading out the squads.

          BUT WAIT!!! As the teams are announced, it becomes very apparent that one manager has made a mistake, because despite getting his country to the final ( and eventually winning it) he has been stupid enough to include, not one but two player who are rubbish in the squad and barely plays one of them anyway!!!

          Surely that country will have no chance of beating a team full of top players, it just couldn’t happen…but it did, it really did.

          Thus, despite having the whole of his country’s players to choose from, he selects two rubbish player (one of whom, incidentally, goes on to win his country’s player of the year five times), as part of his final squad to play in the biggest game in world football…despite one player having all of his assists against rubbish teams as well!!!

          Can you believe that a world class manager would be so stupid as to do this? TMJW thinks so in his infinate wisdom of how to become a successful w/c winning manager and player.

          There we haveit then, this rubbish manager and player have pulled the wool over everyone’s eyes and gone out and won the world cup, despite all the odds it really is a funny old game…at least through the eyes of TMJW.

          1. Mbliujs says:

            TMJW tell me how you expect Ozil to make assists in big games when the whole team goes MIA… We get beat like it’s a game of basketball en by the 90 minute our tails r between our legs!!!

            To make this easier give us a list of Arsenal players with many assists in big games(since Ozil joined)

            FACT: Arsenal don’t turn up in big games so u can’t use that to jurge Ozil

  10. Mo Molapo says:

    I completely concur with this observation.

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